Skip to main content

Committee publishes correspondence to BBC Director-General Tim Davie

12 March 2021

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has called on BBC Director-General Tim Davie to explain a decision to live broadcast online mixed martial arts shows, also known as cage fighting.

The criticism follows comments made by the chief executive of the charity Headway to the concussion in sport inquiry. Peter McCabe said cage fighting should be banned because it was a ‘brutal’ sport. The assumption should be that it was as dangerous to kick someone in the head as punch someone in the head, he told MPs.

Chair's comment

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight said:

“Given the risks we’ve been told about of brain injury as a result of cage fighting, we question why the BBC should be raising the profile of mixed martial arts and paying to broadcast live shows. Indeed, it could be said that the BBC was now a leading cheerleader for the sport in the UK.

“We’re asking whether the BBC has carried out due diligence on the sport’s safety and the risks of influencing children who are able to watch it. I know that the BBC is eager to connect with younger audiences but I question its strategy here.”

Further information

Image: PA